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Old 09-01-2021, 01:16 PM   #1
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2020 16' Bambi
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Question Yet another lithium question

I've been reading the forums and various other locations to collect as much info as I can but it's left me a little confused. We have a couple of BB 100ah batteries we're going to drop in (hopefully this weekend) as well as a victron battery monitor and MPPT solar charge controller.

My question is do we need to update the converter as well to fully charge the batteries and properly manage them or is that accomplished with the solar charge controller? I appreciate the help!
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Old 09-01-2021, 02:24 PM   #2
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Yes, you need to change your converter.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:03 PM   #3
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See attached
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Airstream Lithium upgrade_.pdf (3.06 MB, 4 views)
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Old 09-01-2021, 05:50 PM   #4
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Did not read the above so this may be redundant.

You need a lithium compatible converter. And..you need to do something about the connection between the trailer and the TV.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:31 PM   #5
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Does the solar upgrade on 2021 and 2022 models include the Victron BMV-712 battery monitor? It looks like it does, it’s just tied to AGMs.

In which case, is the Airstream Power Plus simply swapping out the power converter and batteries, followed by adjusting the solar controller and reprogramming battery monitor? I haven’t been able to get a simple answer on that.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:50 PM   #6
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See attached
How the hell did you get MY PDF's Did you even bother to click on it BEFORE posting?

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Old 09-01-2021, 07:07 PM   #7
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Hi

The charge voltages on lithiums are higher than the charge voltages on lead acids. If you do not change the solar controller and the converter charger, you likely will not get the lithiums full charged.

A more subtle issue is the charge wire on your 7 pn connector. If you leave it hooked up, the trailer lithiums may discharge into the TV electrical system while you roll down the road. The net effect will be less battery charge when you arrive than when you left. The desired effect would be to *increase* the charge as you rolll down the road ...

Bob
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Old 09-01-2021, 07:19 PM   #8
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Yet another lithium question

I donít want to misdirect this discussion but a quick question that may also be relevant to OPÖ.
I recently did lithium upgrade the solar controller was upgraded to PVCM40D but not theSunExplore display to the newer SunExplorer II. Is this of any consequence? Also a Victron Shunt and a Lithium Charger weíre installed. Thanks
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Old 09-02-2021, 05:58 AM   #9
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No, you donít need to change the converter if you donít want to.

The MPPT solar controller will provide the appropriate charging voltage to fully top off your batteries. The existing converter/charger will get your batteries mostly full. So, if you have a decent amount of solar up top (200+ watts, or supplement with a portable that has a lithium setting too) you will be fine.

Changing out the converter is optimal, but not mandatory. Lastly, donít worry about the whole 7-pin thing. Just unplug your 7-pin when you get to camp. There isnít an issue while towing.
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Old 09-02-2021, 06:52 AM   #10
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With the price Costco has on the Lion energy batteries, I’m going to give them a try. I’ll order now and install once my camper comes in. $1299 seems like a very low price to pay for an upgrade that will pay noticeable charging and weight benefits.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettygood View Post
No, you donít need to change the converter if you donít want to.

The MPPT solar controller will provide the appropriate charging voltage to fully top off your batteries. The existing converter/charger will get your batteries mostly full. So, if you have a decent amount of solar up top (200+ watts, or supplement with a portable that has a lithium setting too) you will be fine.

Changing out the converter is optimal, but not mandatory. Lastly, donít worry about the whole 7-pin thing. Just unplug your 7-pin when you get to camp. There isnít an issue while towing.
Hi

A number of us have observed that the 7 pin charge wire *is* very much an issue while running down the road .... Arrive at the campground and the batteries are lower than they started out at.

If you have big solar this may be obscured by what the solar setup is putting in. Even there, when you add up the numbers .... something got lost on the trip ...

Bob
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Old 09-02-2021, 09:41 AM   #12
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Let's assume that you store you Airstream in an area where it is covered. You will need a lithium converter to fully charge the battery before you start out. A standard lead acid/AGM 120v->12V converter will charge the battery up most of the way but not fully. Having a solar MPPT can top off the batteries so long as the storage has good sun. Two things to keep in mind. 1 - turn off float and equalization. 2 - disable any battery temp features.
Costco offers Lion batteries
Other LFP choices include:

AMPS Lithium
https://lithiummarinebattery.com/shop

Battle Born Batteries
http://www.battlebornbatteries.com/

LiFeBlue Battery
http://www.lifebluebattery.com

ReLion
https://relionbattery.com/products/lithium

Chargex
https://www.lithiumion-batteries.com...-rv-deep-cycle
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:16 PM   #13
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7-Pin Charge Wire Options

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

A number of us have observed that the 7 pin charge wire *is* very much an issue while running down the road .... Arrive at the campground and the batteries are lower than they started out at.

If you have big solar this may be obscured by what the solar setup is putting in. Even there, when you add up the numbers .... something got lost on the trip ...

Bob
With the stated issue of drawing down your TT lithium batteries to your TV through your 7 way cord, what are my options to alleviate this problem? I have installed 2 lithium batteries, new converter for lithium batteries and a Victron BMV-712. I do not have solar, future upgrade!
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettygood View Post
.... Lastly, donít worry about the whole 7-pin thing. Just unplug your 7-pin when you get to camp. There isnít an issue while towing.
A You Tube channel I follow has a video about his experience on this topic, it seems some vehicles have issue with the 7 pin. I would have linked the video but I am not sure we are allowed to do that. Their Channel is called Long Long Honeymoon.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:48 PM   #15
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I went back to look for the video I was talking about in my previous post and found it really wasn't exactly how I remembered it.

If you care to have a look its here: https://youtu.be/KTGDCSu1kwI
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Old 09-02-2021, 08:08 PM   #16
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this my DC schematic that support solar
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Old 09-02-2021, 10:41 PM   #17
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Hey Thurston III, I have recently done the same thing, I just added 2 BB 100ah lithiums, and I took the simple/cheap way out. I have a 25' RB twin, so that means most of my electrical, including the 7-way cable, is under one of my dinette benches, so I have ready access (ignoring that I have to take about 7 screws out to remove the bench furniture).

My solution was to simply disconnect the +12v wire in the 7-way harness from my +12v DC bus (located under my dinette seat in my trailer). Cover the newly bare 7-way cable wire with a small wire nut, and tape the nut to the wire so it can't come loose and fall off. I can't get you pictures, I am on the road with my trailer. I don't know how universal the wire colors are in the 7-way cable world, but here is a diagram I found on the net, I am sure there are many more like it, you can search for better if needed. To be absolutely sure, connect your trailer 7-way cable to the tow vehicle, then use a voltmeter to confirm the wire you lifted is indeed a +12v DC, and also confirm all your other lights (turn signal, brakes, running ... ) all work as before.

The removal of that wire means you can't charge your trailer batteries while driving (its a very low charge rate, not losing much value there in my opinion), and in the case of LifePo4 batteries with higher voltage than the tow vehicle, you can't charge them anyway, or drain the trailer batteries into the tow vehicle either. If you really want the ability to charge, you need a DC-DC converter or something similar, and it will go in the same path (this 12v aux charging wire) so you might as well get familiar with its location. Hope that helps you
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Old 09-03-2021, 08:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurston III View Post
With the stated issue of drawing down your TT lithium batteries to your TV through your 7 way cord, what are my options to alleviate this problem? I have installed 2 lithium batteries, new converter for lithium batteries and a Victron BMV-712. I do not have solar, future upgrade!
Hi

The "easy" answer is to simply disconnect the charge wire from the DC bus in the front of the trailer. Other than getting to the bus, cost is zero. Doing it this way. will work with any vehicle that gets hooked up to the trailer.

Alternative to "disconnect the wire" is to find the magic fuse in the truck that feeds the 7 pin charge cable. Pull the fuse and there's no current. Disadvantage here is switching tow vehicles or trailers. There's also the risk of a "helpful" mechanic replacing a "missing fuse"..... ( yes, that does happen ...).

The somewhat more expensive option ( $70 or so ) is to put in a DC / DC converter on the charge wire and let it both block the back flow and make sure the lithiums get *some* charge while rolling along.

Bob
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Old 09-06-2021, 08:58 AM   #19
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Thanks All!

Based on your replies and info the WFCO WF-8950L2-MBA will arrive this week.
I'm planning on doing the install next weekend and will include disabling the 7 pin DC charging.

I haven't gone looking just yet but where is the charge controller located? Is it under the front next to the hot water?
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:48 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by YoungishJedi View Post
Based on your replies and info the WFCO WF-8950L2-MBA will arrive this week.
I'm planning on doing the install next weekend and will include disabling the 7 pin DC charging.

I haven't gone looking just yet but where is the charge controller located? Is it under the front next to the hot water?
Hi

On most trailers, the converter charger gets mounted in a "blob" along with the breakers. This is AS so who knows what they did on this or that year of this or that model ....

Spending some "quality time" opening everything up and looking behind everything on the trailer is a really good idea. Knowing where this and that is before something goes weird at 3AM ( it's always in the middle of the night ...) is very much worth the hour or four invested in the process.

Indeed, if you have someplace that is relatively clean and dry to park, crawling around *under* the trailer to see what's what is also a pretty good idea. That's a *lot* easier to do on a Basecamp than on a 30' Classic ....

Bob
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